Goyal also outlined the new “management mantra” which will guide the functioning of IR – assign priority, allocate resources and expedite completion.
Monetisation of the assets of the Dedicated Freight Corridors can be taken up in stages starting with public listing of the entities and progressive disinvestment, the minister for railways, commerce & industry Piyush Goyal said on Monday. “This (monetisation) can be done after corridors become fully operational, and DFCCIL starts registering healthy profit,” Goyal said, addressing media in a virtual conference.
Goyal pointed out that the railways has several assets that are fit for monetisation, including the railway stations of New Delhi and Mumbai. By using the model of cross-subsidy for the re-development of stations, IR will be able to find the resources to invest in the transport network and attendant infrastructure and give the passengers the best facilities, he said. “Similarly, monetisation of the assets of DFC will save money for the Railways, lower the burden of loans and the returns we get can be invested in more DFCs, expand the network.
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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated a record Rs 1,10,055-crore outlay for the Railways, of which Rs 1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented on Monday. With this, the Railways now has the highest ever capex of Rs 2,15,058 crore with Rs 7,500 crore from internal resources, Rs 1,00,258 crore from extra budgetary resources and the allocation of the General Budget. The gross budgetary allocation is Rs 37,050 crore, 53% higher than BE 2020-21.
Goyal also outlined the new “management mantra” which will guide the functioning of IR – assign priority, allocate resources and expedite completion. Of the current 513 ongoing projects being implemented, IR has identified super critical, critical projects on capacity enhancement projects on HDN/HUN routes, multi-tracking projects, connectivity projects and national projects. Fund allocation and targets have also been planned for the next four years. All super critical projects will be completed by March 2022 and others will be completed by March 2024.
On the deadline for completion of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Corridor project, the minister admitted to facing hurdles in land acquisition in Maharashtra. “Due to the delays we have started giving out tenders for the project in Gujarat and work will soon start there. As and when we get clarity on the land acquisition in Maharashtra, we will be able to give a final date on the project,” he said. Once the project report is ready, the government could look at a greater share of public-private partnership in the MAHSR project which will help in bringing in new technology, new investors and in creating a competitive atmosphere.